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Kawhi Leonard Will Have 'No Limits' at NBA Restart, Says Clippers' Doc Rivers

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2020

Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, right, speaks with head coach Doc Rivers after being taken out of the game during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in Los Angeles, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. The Clippers won 134-109. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

To hear Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers tell it, Kawhi Leonard will be ready to go when the NBA's season restarts at the Walt Disney World Resort.

"Kawhi is healthy for the most part," Rivers said, per Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times. "That still doesn't mean that we don't want to maintain him and get him through the first eight games and get ready for the playoffs. We want to be smart about this. Not just for Kawhi, it's with everybody."

Leonard said, "I feel good," and pointed to his ability to "work out, get strong and prepare for this moment now that we're in" while play was suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That Leonard is healthy is notable because he did not play in back-to-back games a single time this season as he dealt with a left patella tendon injury and rested with an eye toward the playoffs and a potential championship run.

Leonard did not play in back-to-back games once last season for the Toronto Raptors either, and the strategy paid off with a championship run that included a Game 7 buzzer-beater in the second round against the Philadelphia 76ers, an Eastern Conference Finals win over Giannis Antetokounmpo's Milwaukee Bucks and an NBA Finals win over the powerhouse Golden State Warriors.

The Clippers may need a similar run this year with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the Los Angeles Lakers and dangerous Western Conference teams with plenty of star power such as the Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets and more standing in the way.

Fortunately for the Clippers, Rivers said Leonard will have "no limits" as they pursue that championship.

Leonard's team is 44-20 and 5.5 games behind the Lakers for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Its first of eight seeding games comes July 30 against the Lakers.

It sounds as if Leonard will be healthy and ready to take the court when it arrives.

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